Holding Court

Holding Court

by K. C. Held

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Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what's in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty-and completely unavailable-Grayson Chandler. Except that it's not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there's the dead body she finds that just kind of...well, disappears. Oh, and there's the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome"-spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson's attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson's interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it's starting to look suspicious...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633752283
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two wee bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and has worked as a freelance costumer in opera, theatre, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

Read an Excerpt

Holding Court

By K.C. Held, Alycia Tornetta

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 K.C. Held
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-228-3


Psychic Tourette's Syndrome

I'm standing behind the counter of my mom's antique shop, thinking about Grayson Chandler's abs, when the bell over the door jingles and in walks Henry VIII.

"Uh, welcome to Love at Second Sight antiques. Can I help you?" I say.

"Greetings, fair maiden!" King Henry gives me a gallant bow. He looks like he stepped out of a painting. Or a psych ward. "I seek the proprietor of this fine establishment," he says, looking around at the various vignettes of period furniture, vintage clothing, and ephemera as he strides toward me. He spies the display case of antique weapons next to the front counter. "Ah, I see I have come to the proper place," he says, then reaches for the scabbard at his waist and unsheathes an enormous sword.

"Whoa," I say, taking a step back.

"'Tis a wondrous sight, is it not?" He laughs like he's auditioning to play Santa Claus at the county mall. He's still ho-ho-hoing when the bell jingles again and Mom comes in carrying a bag from the deli across the street.

Gran pokes her head in from the back of the shop. She has packing peanuts stuck in her hair, which is currently dyed pastel pink, inspired by an episode of America's Next Top Model. "Is that lunch I hear? What took you so ..." She trails off when she catches sight of King Henry. "Oh my," she says.

"I know, right?" I say.

"Can we help you?" Mom asks. She walks behind the counter, eyeing the sword King Henry is still holding aloft.

King Henry eyes my mom. She looks like a real-life version of Angelina Jolie (i.e. thirty pounds heavier and with discernible flaws), so she's used to being eyeballed.

"How interesting." Gran looks from King Henry to my mom and back again.

"Don't even," I say, knowing she's not referring to the fact that there's a guy dressed up like the former king of England brandishing a sword in the middle of our antique shop. I can tell by the way she's squinting at him that she's looking at his aura. And if she's comparing it to my mom's with that excited look on her face it can only mean one thing.

"Stop that," Mom hisses under her breath, making shooing motions behind her back. She knows what Gran is doing, too, and it's making her blush.

King Henry is still smiling, although he's begun to look a bit confused. The women in my family tend to have that effect on people. The only thing that could possibly make the situation more awkward would be for me to have one of my uncontrollable psychic fits.

So, of course, I do.

"The keeper of secrets keeps too much!" I blurt, then clap a hand over my mouth.

King Henry looks like he's waiting for the punch line.

"Indeed," he finally says.

"Is there something we can help you with?" Mom asks. She shoves the bag of sandwiches at Gran. "Why don't you take your lunch break? Now."

Gran nods, still squinting at King Henry. "Fascinating. An almost perfect match," she says as she backs through the velvet curtain behind the front counter.

"Milady," King Henry says to Mom, and lays the sword on the counter, "I seek your expertise in the matter of my sword."

"How so?" Mom asks. She picks up the weapon, balancing its weight in both hands.

"I am told it is a sixteenth-century German sword, and I wish to verify its authenticity, for I do not trust the blaggard who sold it to me."

"Well, I would say the blade is certainly mid-sixteenth century."

I know Mom knows exactly how old it is but she probably can't be too precise without making King Henry suspicious.

"But the hilt is a later addition. Probably a Victorian reproduction," she says.

"Bloody hell!" King Henry roars and pounds a giant fist on the counter.

Mom gives him "the look."

"Pray pardon me, your ladyship." I swear King Henry actually blushes. "Are you certain?" he asks.

"I'm certain," Mom says as she tilts the sword back and forth under the lights. "If it makes you feel any better, it's a beautiful reproduction. It might even be one of Ernst Schmidt's, but you'll have to take it to someone who specializes in his work to know for sure."

King Henry nods and takes the sword from her, replacing it in his scabbard. "Alack, I feared it might be so," he says. "Thank you, milady. Next time I shall seek your counsel before I am foolish enough to exchange coin for counterfeit."

"May I?" Mom reaches toward the thick gold necklace he wears over his elaborate costume.

"'Tis the only surviving chain of office from the time of His Majesty, Henry VIII," King Henry says as he leans forward. At least he knows he's not Henry VIII.

Mom wraps her fingers around the necklace and closes her eyes. "Mmm," she says, "how lovely." When she opens her eyes, their faces are inches apart and I'm about to barf.

"Just in time!" I blurt and they both stare at me. "Uh, Cami's here," I explain, except she isn't. "I mean, she will be. You know, any second now." I'm saved from further explanation by the jingling bell.

"Hey, Jules," Cami says when she sees me, and then she takes in King Henry. Without missing a beat she drops into a curtsy, setting her corkscrew curls bouncing. "Your Highness."

King Henry gives her his gallant bow and says, "Please, rise, fair maiden."

"You must be the Tudor Times dude," she says. "Nice duds."

"Many thanks," King Henry says, then turns back to Mom.

"Is there anything else I can help you with?" she asks.

"No, milady. I thank you for confirming my suspicions. Prithee forgive me for my outburst. In faith, I should not have been surprised."

Mom reaches for his other necklace and I'm about to tell them to get a room when she says, "You do know this is a reproduction, I hope?"

King Henry nods. "Verily, I commissioned it myself."

"It's a pity they didn't use genuine stones, it's such a beautiful piece."

"Pardon?" King Henry looks down at the pendant, his face starting to turn purple.

"Oh, dear." Mom lets go of the pendant and takes a step back. "You didn't know?"

"I most certainly did not," King Henry says. "By my troth, I fear I am an even bigger fool than I thought. Tell me, milady, might I compel you to come to Lunewood Castle to look upon the rest of my collection? It seems I could use someone with your practiced eye."

"I'd love to," Mom says, looking all excited, and then she sighs like a punctured blow-up doll. "Unfortunately I'm leaving tomorrow to do some appraisal work in Europe. I won't be back for several weeks."

"I am unsurprised that a lady of your talents is in high demand," King Henry says and reaches for her hand. He brushes his lips across her knuckles and says, "Perhaps another time?"

"Your nun is pregnant!" I blurt.

Everyone stares at me, and I decide my best option is to make a dash for the back curtain.

Gran looks up and sees my wide eyes and my hand over my mouth. "What'd you say this time? A real doozy, huh?"

"I can't ... I don't even ... Gran, I think it's getting worse."

"You probably just have more to say," Gran says. She's annoyingly prosaic about my bizarre outbursts.

Cami comes through the curtain behind me and lets out a snort of laughter. "Way to ruin the moment, Jules." She grabs the bag of sandwiches and holds it up to her forehead. "Let me guess, smoked turkey on sliced sourdough?" She peeks in the bag. "Yes! I'm totally psychic, too!"

"Shut up," I say and grab the bag from her. "I hate you."

"Do not."

"Do, too. Oh, crap."



"Tell me!"

I hold my breath and clamp my lips together.

"Out with it, Blurt."

I shake my head furiously.

"You can't possibly hold it in, so you might as well tell me before you burst a blood vessel."

I blow it out in one big breath. "You're going to get the lead in My Fair Lady and Sidney Barlow is going to tell everyone you cheated."

"Dude," she says. "Seriously?"

"Yes. And stop calling me Blurt."

"I'm going to get the lead? That's awesome! And Sidney Barlow can suck my Chucks." She gives me a quick hug. "I'm going to go work on my monologue. Call me when you get off work!"

Since Mom had decided to accept the appraisal gig in Europe, and refused to take me with her, and my dad was off on another one of his archaeological digs, and refused to take me with him, I was doomed to spend another boring summer in Lunevale helping Gran plant begonias. And since Mom couldn't trust either of us in the antique shop in her absence, I was also officially out of a job for the summer. Again. Not that Mom gives me very many hours to begin with.

I'm only allowed to work when her assistant, Dee, isn't working. Dee is high-fructose-corn-syrup sweet and has the IQ of a dust bunny, but the customers love her and she always knows exactly what to say to get someone to buy a $10,000 Fabergé ashtray. A talent I do not possess. Mostly I help unload stuff and attach price tags. Occasionally I get to do something really challenging like dusting bric-a-brac.

Mom tries to use me at the front counter as little as possible on account of my tendency to yell out things like, "Your maple has tar spot!" and scare away the customers. But she's my mom so she's never actually fired me. Not even after the time I told Dee her underwear was on fire. Even though it was (dryer malfunction).

Despite being founded by Lucius Lune, who definitely outranked me and everyone else in town on the Freak Scale, the rest of Lunevale is not so forgiving. In its present-day state the inhabitants of my hometown fall into three basic categories: the inveterate townies whose families have been here forever; the hipster refugees from the San Francisco Bay Area in search of better schools, a lower cost of living, and their own version of quirky small-town America; and the visiting tourists who provide most of Lunevale's livelihood.

The townies are used to eccentrics like Gran and the Lunes and old Mr. Farley (otherwise known as the Corpse). It's mostly because of hypocritically intolerant hipsters and skittish tourists that I've been fired from every job I've ever managed to land. Which isn't very many, since interviews are stressful and stressful situations tend to set off what Cami calls my "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome." Which means I rarely make it through an interview without blurting out something bizarre or alarming. But since my PTS has yet to help me predict the winning lotto numbers — because that would actually be useful — I desperately need a new job. Like, yesterday.


Tudor Times

One of the reasons I so desperately need a job is so I can buy a car, but since I don't have a car there are only so many jobs I can get to. It's a tragic paradox that could seriously scar my entire high school career.

"It has to be something in Lunevale," I tell Cami the next morning when she barges into our kitchen and finds me looking through the help wanted ads in the local paper. Cami lives next door and spends as much time as possible at our house in order to avoid her own family, which is inordinately loud and exuberant. Much like Cami herself, who, according to Gran, has more dazzle than a disco ball. Mom and I moved into Gran's huge, old, Pepto-Bismol-pink Victorian after my parents' divorce and have been here ever since. My dad stayed in San Francisco and is usually too busy digging up mummies to be a decent dad. He's way more interested in dead people than he is in the living. Which is probably why my mom left him, despite the fact that he has this whole Indiana Jones thing going on.

"I have to be able to get there on my bike or the bus," I say. "Since having your driver's license obviously means nothing around this place." I give Mom a pointed look. She actually laughed when I asked if I was getting a car for my sixteenth birthday.

Mom puts down her coffee and looks at her watch. "I'd better go finish packing. I'll be at the shop most of the day. I need to go over a few things with Dee before I leave tonight." She kisses me on the head and goes upstairs.

Gran lowers her People magazine. "You're welcome to use Rosie," she offers.

Cami and I look at each other, and I roll my eyes. Rosie is a major part of the reason I need a job in the first place. I refuse to drive my grandmother's hot-pink golf cart to school next year.

"Uh, thanks, Gran, but I think I'll pass on the golf cart."

Gran huffs and looks offended. "Rosie is not a golf cart, she's a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle."

"What's the difference? She still can't go on the highway."

"Suit yourself. You can take the back roads, you know."

"I'd have to take the back roads, Gran. Rosie only goes twenty-five miles per hour."

"Well, what do you need to go faster for? No one can read my signs if you go too fast."

Did I mention that Rosie, the hot-pink golf cart, is plastered with ads for Gran's matchmaking business, An Aura of Romance?

"And you can park right up front in those special electric vehicle spaces like they have at the Target."

"Tempting, but I'd rather risk the sweaty helmet hair and ride my bike." Helmet hair or hot-pink golf cart. I seriously need a car, ASAP.

"No way!" Cami grabs my highlighter and circles an ad. "Check it out, there's a listing for Tudor Times. And it couldn't be more perfect." She holds up the newspaper.

HELP WANTED: Do you have the gift of visions? Tudor Times, Candor County's newest must-see destination, is looking for a dynamic, outgoing individual to add to our Castle Team. We're currently seeking a female performer to portray the character of the Maid of Kent. Duties include wearing an appropriate period costume and performing psychic readings for Castle Guests. No experience necessary.

I look at Cami. "You're kidding, right?"

"Come on, it's like it was written for you! You can do your Psychic Tourette's thing without having to worry about getting fired. Plus that King Henry guy is the owner and he obviously has the hots for your mom, so you know he's going to hire you."

"He's not going to hire me, because there's no way I'm applying for it."

Instead of arguing with me, Cami whips out her phone and punches in a number. "Hello, I'm calling about your ad in the Lunevale Gazette?"

I make a grab for the phone, but she jumps off her chair and backs away, wiggling her fingers at me. "Yes, I'm very interested in the psychic job. One thirty? That would be perfect. My name's Juliet Verity. I'll be there at one thirty. Thank you so much."

"What the hell?" I say to Cami after she hangs up.

"You'll thank me for this, trust me." Cami gives me a smug grin and sits back down. "A bunch of kids from Lunevale High are working there this summer."


"So, one of them happens to be Grayson Chandler."

"And?" I feign total indifference, but the truth is the mere mention of his name gives me palpitations.

Cami closes the newspaper and starts counting on her fingers. "Number one, you need a job. Number two, Grayson Chandler. Number three, you finally get to see the inside of Lunewood Castle, and number four, you get to dress up in a fancy Tudor gown that is bound to give you fabulous cleavage. Ergo, you're an idiot if you don't take the job."

"Number one" — I hold up a finger, too, the middle one — "I do not have the 'gift of visions,' I have an involuntary blurting disorder, which, in case you've forgotten, is something I've been trying to suppress for years. Number two, Grayson Chandler has a girlfriend, and do I really need to remind you of my history with Grayson and castles? Number three, if I want to see the inside of Lunewood Castle all I have to do is buy a ticket to Tudor Times. And number four, I don't think it's possible for me to have cleavage regardless of what I'm wearing."

"Whatever. You know you want to see Grayson dressed up like a knight, looking all Prince Charming." She gives me a wicked grin. "I bet he has a really big sword."

"Oh, shut up. I hate you."

"I believe my work here is done. I'm out. Don't forget, one thirty. Say hello to Prince Charming for me!"

"Well, that sounds promising, dear," Gran says, looking up from her perusal of the red carpet trend report. "It's about time you put your talents to good use. And I'm not talking about the cleavage." She waggles her eyebrows at me.

"Seriously? You think I should take a job giving fake fortunes to a bunch of tourists at a cheesy castle?"

"Who says they have to be fake?"

"In case you haven't noticed, I don't exactly have control over my 'gift,' Gran."

"No, you don't have the ability to shut it off. You might be able to learn some control if you embraced your gift instead of trying so hard to tamp it down."

"Embrace what? All I ever do is blurt out ridiculous, meaningless, or crucially embarrassing stuff. Why would I want to do that more often? I get into enough trouble as it is. I've been fired from every job I've ever had, including my volunteer job at the library — which is beyond pathetic — been suspended from school for my outbursts in class, and, depending on how you feel about circus sideshows, am considered either a freak or a hilarious spectacle by the population at large. It's not a gift. It's a curse. Why can't I do something that's actually useful like you and mom?"

"I suppose that depends on how you define 'useful.'"


Excerpted from Holding Court by K.C. Held, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 K.C. Held. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1 - Psychic Tourette's Syndrome,
2 - Tudor Times,
3 - The Maid of Kent,
4 - Your Nun Is Pregnant,
5 - There's Our Victim,
6 - Oh, Jeez. She's Dead,
7 - Well, This Is Awkward,
8 - Should Have Seen That Coming,
9 - Thanks for Throwing Me Under the Bus,
10 - The Butterfly Effect,
11 - You Really Are Psychic!,
12 - We Found a Clue!,
13 - Keep Rocking That Fanny Pack,
14 - Don't Play Coy,
15 - You Are so Dead,
16 - Tit for Tat,
17 - Dying to Tell,
18 - Someone's Got to Keep the New Nun Safe,
19 - You Can See That in Someone's Aura?,
20 - The Police Are Summoned,
21 - Am I in Trouble?,
22 - I'm the Crazy One,
23 - Away Inctersphay Ayssay Atwhay?,
24 - A Little Dungeon Recon,
25 - The Priest Hole,
26 - Everything Is Going to Be Peachy Keen,
27 - He's My Buddy,
28 - I Know Where the Body Is,
29 - Your Secret's Safe with Me,
30 - Mystery Solved,
31 - Just to be Clear,
About the Author,
Entangled Teen!,

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Holding Court 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
SCRAMER More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Entangled and Netgalley for an honest review :0) So I have to admit this book made me laugh especially when the main character sixteen-year-old Jules Verity would say her premonitions. I mean her friend had nailed it on the head when she called it Psychic Tourette's Syndrome or PTS for short! The stuff that came out of this girl's mouth made me giggle. I felt a little bad for her because she didn't want this to happen and than when she got her job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times, things don't really go according to plan... I have to say this book is a fun, light hearted make you giggle book that is a perfect read for when you need a laugh
BooksbyNightMommybyDay More than 1 year ago
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review** 5 stars Cute, smart, and funny - of course with a huge helping of mystery and murder! High schooler Jules is out of a job for the summer when her mom closes up their family's antique shop to do some work overseas - which is a bit of a problem for Jules. Especially as she is trying to save for a car, but given that she has Psychic Tourette's Syndrome or PTS as her best friend Cami calls it - where she has random and bizarre verbal outbursts - employers are not very likely to give her a job. But when a local home is turned into a tourist attraction called Tudor Times - with everything from King Henry VIII and his wives to a crazy maid that has random psychic premonitions – Jules hesitantly (and with Cami’s strong nudging) looks to fill the shoes of the crazy maid. The only problem is, that most of Jules’s premonitions aren’t made up like her predecessor’s – and when she finds a secret passageway after trying to hide from her crush, Grayson Chandler whom also works at Tudor Times, only to find the body of a young lady she’s never seen before – Jules’s summer just went from bad to worse. Especially when the body “disappears” when the owner/ King Henry, Hank Bacon, goes in search of it in the secret passageway – coupled with the fact that no one is missing from the staff, it is swept under the rug. But where there is one murder with no body, be assured there will be more – when another actual body is found, of course by none other than Jules herself again, the stage is set for some extreme mystery and intrigue, all pointed in Jules’s direction. But when some of her PTS start actually making sense, will she have blurted the wrong thing to the wrong person? There is a killer in the castle, and they are trying to make Jules silent, possible permanently. Can she figure out who is doing the killing before the killer comes for her? This book was extremely entertaining – and while yes, it was a MURDER mystery, it was light-hearted and so easy to fall in step with poor Jules and her PTS. For me, Jules is just like every other teenage girl – she has insecurities and flaws – but underneath it all, she just wants to fit in and not feel awkward when blurts something like “Your nun is pregnant” for all to hear. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of Jules’s confidence throughout the story – while she is still self-conscience about her PTS, she starts to feel like people could really like her for just who she is, weird blurts and all. I would definitely recommend this “cheerful” murder mystery to anyone that has a little Nancy Drew in them – or wishes they did :)
cattouch More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this YA novel and I'm a mom and grandmother. The heroine is sweet, feisty and doesn't realize how great she is. Her family is 'gifted'..she is too..which sometimes embarrasses her. This is a combination light romance and mystery and the mystery is solid. There is a number of murder suspects to guess from and a nice little twist. I would love to read more about this heroine and I will definitely look for more books by this author. I received an arc for an honest review.
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
This book has it all – a winning heroine, a quirky cast of characters, a chilling mystery, an unexpected love triangle , not to mention a gorgeous castle. The reader is carried along by Jules’ funny and warm narration as she approaches the fantastical events of the story – including her own inconvenient psychic blurts – with practical humor. This is the kind of book you’ll be excited to dive into each time you sit down to read; spending time with Jules and her friends is just fun (dead bodies notwithstanding).
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
4-1/2 Stars. Reading Holding Court was an absolute blast. The characters are quirky and adorable, the story is hysterical, and the mystery is just good plain fun. Jules has a strange gift that her best friend calls psychic Tourette's syndrome or PTS. She blurts out things that seem to not make any sense, labeling her the weird kid at school. But her ability makes her perfect to play the Mad Maid of Kent in the Tudor Times dinner theater where she pretends to be a psychic and her blurting disorder is just right for the part. Her long-term crush and his perfect-in-every-way girlfriend also work there, forcing her to spend more time than she'd like with the happy couple. And she can't even hate the girlfriend because she's one of the few people at school who hasn't ostracised Jules for her PTS. But when bodies begin to pile up in the castle, Jules doesn't know who to trust and the race is on to find out who's offing the staff. Plot The plot centers around the mysterious disappearing body in the castle, but there is a romantic subplot involving Jules pining for Grayson who has a flawless girlfriend, Bree. The mystery definitely takes center stage, but the romance is cute and sweet and definitely adds to the story. Characters The characters are easily the best part of the book. They're so entertaining. Jules is particularly likeable as the insecure blurting psychic with the crush on the unattainable boy. Her whole family is just as unusual and adorable, as is her best friend, Cami, the only person outside her family who seems to really get her. The colorful characters at Tudor Times rounds out the cast in delightful fashion, making it nearly impossible to figure out whodunit, because they're all a bit wacky. Writing The writing is a blast. Debut novelist, K.C. Held, has a way of storytelling that is engaging and hysterical. Her main character is witty and charming, whether she's blurting or trying to process the latest calamity to befall her. Ending There were a few surprising twists, one that I never saw coming! What I Loved About Holding Court 1. The humor. There were many laugh out loud moments. 2. The characters. They were all unique and amusing, even the seedy ones. 3. The mystery. The disappearing body added a fun twist to this teen murder mystery. 4. The romance. While subtle, it was threaded throughout the story and kept me wanting to know what would happen. 5. Gran. She was a breath of fresh air as Jules' temporary guardian while Jules' mother is overseas on business. Bottom Line A delightful teen murder/mystery, filled with zany characters and laced with a sweet romance. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
UndertheBookCover More than 1 year ago
Review also posted at: underthebookcover.blogspot.com/ Special thanks to Entangled Teen for sending me a copy for review! This has in no way impacted my review. When her mother goes out of the country on a job for the summer, Jules gets a job at the new dinner theatre Tudor Times in order to save up enough money for a new car. When she discovers that her crush, Grayson Chandler, is also working there, things start to look not so bleak for Jules. What could be better than getting to work with your crush wearing a fancy Tudor gown, right? Wrong. Turns out Jules gets hired as the Maid of Kent, a psychic nun, and has to wear a wimple. Totally embarrassing. To make things even worse, she finds a dead body on her first day of work. But on the plus side, finding the dead body seems to have gotten Grayson to pay attention to her, although the more she looks into the dead body, the more suspicious Grayson seems. Holding Court is a super cute, fun read that appeals to fans of mystery and YA books. Jules has a condition that her best friend has named "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome" where she randomly blurts out absolutely random (sometimes embarrassing) prophecies. This was one of the highlights of the book for me, as the wording of the prophecies were always super funny! "Your nun is pregnant!" "Be alert to the squirt and smell the ketchup!" This book definitely kept me laughing all the way through. Jules is really funny, and her grandma is an absolute riot. I really enjoyed how Jules was very independent and, despite the fact that she saw a dead body, was determined to find out who it was and why she was killed. She was a strong character and I liked that she wasn't relying on anyone else to solve the murder. I honestly don't think there is one thing that I disliked about this book. While I was reading, I didn't want to put it down, and I haven't found many books like that lately. The pacing was great, the writing was great, I adored the characters, and the small twist at the end with a few of the characters was definitely a surprise! It isn't a significant plot twist or anything, but I thought it was a cute little thing that was added, and it explained a lot about certain characters. Holding Court was a refreshing change from my normal YA genre choices. I tend to gravitate towards more dystopian/thriller and I liked this more present day "normal" genre with a relatable main character. I am really crossing my fingers in the hopes that the author decides to write more books about Jules because I am really interested in reading more about her and some more crazy adventures that she could get into! If you enjoy a bit of humor mixed in with your YA mystery genre, then Holding Court is definitely for you! It's a fun adventure that I would recommend to anyone looking for a new book to read!
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the arc of Holding Court by K.C. Held! I had so much fun reading this book and I hope that the author is planning on writing more. The beginning reminded me a bit of the 1980's movie, Sixteen Candles with Molly Ringwald because of the quirky main character and the awkward teenage feelings and actions, but with a modern day feel. Add a mystery to the story and it becomes very interesting and suspenseful. I was delighted when the characters quoted The Princess Bride. This books is nostalgic and fun! I also learned about European castle architectural terms. All in all, Holding Court is a wonderful book and I would read it again!
Irena_BookDustMagic More than 1 year ago
Written in the first person, Holding Court follows a girl named Jules, who is „cursed“ with what she likes to call „Psychic Tourette's Syndrome“. If you're confused just like I was and wonder what that could be, let me explain it to you: from time to time, Julie, uncontrollably, blurbs out what will happen to someone in the future, but she tells that pretty much in codes. Overall, the whole thing makes her a weirdo in other people's eyes. She's not the only one with the gift. Her grandmother can see other people's auras and her mother can tell authenticidy of an object with a single touch. One summer, to make some money and save enough to buy herself a car, sixteen years old Jules gets a job in a place called Tudor Times. Fun fact: Grayson, the guy she has a crush for years works there. Funnier fact: her girlfriend Bree also works there. Jules knew not everything will be roses and butterflies, but what she couldn't even dream about was that, while exploring secret chambers of her workplace, she would find a dead body… First thing I have to warn you about: there are some illogical happenings trough the story. If you are a critical reader you'll probably find it's flaws and they could put you off when it comes to finishing this story. However, I think it is only fair of me to tell you how, if you can play blind to those flaws, you will probably end up really enjoying yourself while reading. Yes, the main character does swoon over the guy while she should be worried about the killer and about her own sake. Yes, the story does have a love triengle (that is, let me make that clear, a really good love triangle). Yes, the character does not act the smartest way possible at some scenes, but… The writing style is so good, it makes you want to devaour the story in one sitting. The more pages you read, the plot is more and more interesting, characters are more and more likeable, the mystery is more and more mysterious. I also have to emphasize that I didn't see who the killer was. Of course, I had my own suspicion, but I was wrong. And now, let me tell you what I liked the most about this book: Love triangle. At first, I tought about giving this book a lower rating, but what made me really appreciate this novel is the love triangle in it and the way it resolved in the end. Maybe some would call it naive or unbelievable, but I like to call it refreshing. I have never before read the story in which all love interests wrap up the way they did here, and it never even crossed my mind that someday it would be great to read the story with that kind of result. Just because of that, K.C. Held deserves an extra applause. Overall, this is an easy, quick read with a great atmosphere, perfect for spring or summer when you want to read something entertaining and cute. The writing style is enjoyable, the story has something different to offer when it comes to love interest and the very last chapter is the best chapter in the whole book, which made me appreciate this piece. I gladely recommend it!
BookFidelity More than 1 year ago
I don't mean it to sound offensive when I say that I was surprised as to how thoroughly I enjoyed this book! I'm not big on stuff having to do with the medieval times...which is something that I actually really want to delve into. Anyway - Jules is this teenage girl who has a very...um, unfortunate talent/gift - she can foretell the future, but only in these Twitter-like nonsense sentences. They sound like riddles to tell you the truth. The unfortunate part is that she cannot seem to control these messages and they turn out to be outbursts in the most horrible of situations - like being face to face with her crush Grayson. I was enjoying the story with just those tidbits, when all of a sudden - a mystery! Jules clumsily finds herself in a hidden passageway in the castle. That's fun and all, but what she sees there isn't - the body of a dead girl! She finds her way out only to collide with Grayson. When the king of the castle (literally) goes in to check - no body is to be found. Just who is behind this? Or was Jules having some type of hallucination? Hmmm... This book turned out to be so wonderfully different than other young adult books - the mystery twist is what did it! I was expecting a romance but got so much more. I recommend this lovely read to anyone who enjoys young adult and mysteries!
jcsbookhaven More than 1 year ago
"Who told you to say that?" "What? No one. I have a blurting problem. It happens more when I'm nervous. Like now. My friend Cami calls it Psychic Tourette's Syndrome. PTS for short. I call it mortifying." The Good This was such a funny and cute story. The characters are wonderful. Jules Verity comes from a family in which the women all exhibit some sort of power. Her quirky grandmother runs a matchmaking company called The Aura of Romance with her ability to read auras and she drives a pink golf cart around town with advertisements plastered on it. Her mom has the ability to tell the history of an object by touching it. Jules is the best though. She randomly blurts out psychic premonitions that often sound more loony than accurate. For example, "Be alert to the squirt and smell the ketchup!". Jules finds the best job for her possible as the Mad Maid of Kent at Tudor Times. It's a place for people to visit where everything is set in the time of King Henry the VIII. The Mad Maid of Kent is known to be a crazy psychic so it works quite well. This setting made for some interesting dialogue as well as unique weapons and storing places for bodies. The story is a mystery. She finds a dead body on her first day of work and rolls on from there with Jules investigating. The Bad While I'm sure there were flaws with the story, I didn't notice them. This was just what I needed at the time. The Romance Jules has had a crush on Grayson for quite some time. I like how in this one, Grayson has a girlfriend that Jules loves. She thinks Bree is one of the best people she's ever met, and I have to agree that she's pretty great. This sets up an interesting dynamic, and I'm glad about how everything worked out in the end. Conclusion Holding Court is a very funny, cute read. I laughed quite a lot while reading it. The characters are wonderful and the romance is charming. The setting at Tudor Times makes for a fun environment with interesting dialogue and the mystery of the dead bodies makes for a great who-done-it plot. Definitely recommended. *Sent for honest review through Netgalley
BookMafiaBlog More than 1 year ago
Genre: Young adult fiction, mystery Age: 14+ Recommendation: Yes, absolutely yes. This book was a fun, enthralling read that made me laugh out loud. This is a book that anyone could enjoy. Type: Stand-alone! Yes! Not another series! Summary: Super fun read and interesting and completely original. + great characters + great plot +descriptive +cute romance +surprise ending Let me start out by saying this…this book was so much fun to read I am actually going to search for other books written by the author. I read a lot. When I say a lot I mean one or more books daily is the norm for me. I was not expecting all the goodness that exists within this little gem. So Holding Court follows Juliet ‘Jules’ Verity. She is a high school girl working a summer job while her mom is out of town at a local tourist spot Tudor Times. It is a Medieval Times type themed restaurant. Jules is not the normal girl next door and her family is a little out of the lines as well. Her grandmother is able to read people’s auras, her mother has the ability to determine where and when an object originated and Jules..well she has what her best friend calls PTS also known as Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome. She randomly and uncontrollably blurts out things that happen to be true..eventually. This story follows Jules through a who done it mystery with the boy she has had the hots for forever that may or may not have less than honorable intentions. Finding a dead body tends to help a girl get noticed right? This was so funny..I laughed out loud so many times. It was so charming..definitely appropriate for 14+. I recommend this to anyone who likes a good read. I didn’t expect the ending either. Disclaimer: I received a ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. Thank you to K.C. Held and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to get my paws on this sweet story. Go read it!
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Holding Court is a cute teen romance. Jules is “cursed” with premonitions that seem more like a serious case of Tourrette’s. She randomly blurts strange and unusual conflagrations of words making her an outcast at school and difficult to keep a job. When Jules gets hired as the fortune teller at the local mid-evil reenactment castle it might be the perfect place to really put her talents to use until someone turns up dead. It seems, no matter how hard Jules tries, everything she touches just goes wrong…But extremely funny and outrageously wrong. A murder, a mystery and a high school crush, you have all the makings of a very teen romance. Overall, enjoyable, I found the pace a little slow but made up for in outlandish humor. This story is truly written with the younger romance reader at heart. I received this ARC copy of Holding Court from Entangled Publishing, LLC - Teen in exchange for a honest review.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
This story was by no means what I had expected. I did not expect there to be so much role play and dialogue from the Tudor times, but there was. I definitely made this for a unique read. I thought this story was good, but had the potential for more. With that being said, I am not disappointed that I read it. The mystery part of it was very interesting! Jules is a young lady that has a sort of problem with blurting out random things. Jules can't help what she says. Her family thinks that it is from the magic that their family possesses. Jules can also see things that others can't and this helps to play along with her new job that she has accepted at the Tudor times. Jules has landed the role of the crazy nun and with her outbursts, she can play this part perfectly. Jules also is excited about working at the Tudor times because of Grayson, her crush that has been off limits. Will she get time with Grayson now that they work together? When Jules is wandering around the old castle one night right after she started working there, she stumbles upon a secret door and discovers an even bigger surprise! Jules has stumbled on a dead body, but when she goes to get someone that she can tell, the body is gone when they get back. Everyone is now really wondering about Jules's sanity. Will Jules ever figure out what happened to the body? Why is Grayson beginning to look suspicious in all of this while Jules is doing her own investigation? There are tons of twists and turns in this story that will keep you wanting to know the outcome of the mystery. The humor of Jules blurting out random things throughout the story was pretty funny too. I thought this all made for a great YA read. K.C. Held did a good job with the suspense and mystery, but I would have liked a little more romance with Jules and Grayson. Thanks for a good read though!
Gabmore More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Holding Court. Who doesn't love a good "who done it"? It's a great quick read and it's also kind of quirky. It also has some great friendships and a cute splash of romance. I couldn't put it down! Highly recommend! You can read my full review at http://gabriellareads.blogspot.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.) “Mermaids blush when clothes unmake the man!” This was a YA mystery story, about a girl who had sudden psychic premonitions. Juliet was a cute character, and her little outbursts were quite funny. She seemed to be really intent on finding out what had happened to the missing dead body she discovered, although she seemed a bit clueless at times! The storyline in this was about Juliet getting a new job, and discovering a dead body in a secret passage that then went missing! This was an enjoyable read, although the pace was a little slow in places. The ending to this was pretty good, and I was happy with the way things were resolved. Things did seem a little unrealistic on the romance front though. 6.25 out of 10
WhatsSheReadingBlog More than 1 year ago
For some strange reason I was under the impression that this book was going to have a time travel element? Yeah, I’m not sure why either. I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be a mystery because I don’t actually come across very many YA mystery books. At first this book was just pretty “meh” for me (perhaps because I was waiting for the time travel to come in and it never did), but towards the end I started to get into it. Juliet isn’t my favorite protagonist–frankly she was kind of annoying at times. I was taken aback that she didn’t seem to be trying to hide her ability from other people. She was embarrassed by it, but people seemed to know that she was kind of psychic. In books (and movies) people usually try to hide their special abilities, but it didn’t seem like Juliet or the other women in her family were too concerned about it. The secondary characters were kind of interesting, but mostly flat. I wished that Juliet’s best friend Cami had been a more prominent character, but since she was so background-ish I felt like she was turned into a cardboard cutout best friend. Gran was a fun, quirky character (I liked her Eleanor Roosevelt quotes) but I thought Grayson was pretty vanilla as a love interest. The plot itself was pretty good. Once I realized it was a mystery things started to make more sense. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who the killer was until it was revealed. It was interesting how Juliet’s blurts played a role in solving the mystery–I almost wished that they had played a bigger role. The only (admittedly minor) plot point that didn’t make sense to me was Angelique’s pregnancy. She’s supposed to be not too noticeably pregnant, but then literally two days after people figure out she is, she goes into labor…uh…what? Sorry, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to hide that you’re nine months pregnant–even under a nun’s habit. Overall, this book was pretty good. I think it had some weak points, but there were some strong points as well. The last thing that was a little weird was the way some of the chapters were separated. Like usually a chapter starts in a different scene than the last chapter ended, right? Well a few times a chapter would end and then the next chapter would start in the same scene literally five seconds later. It was just kind of unexpected and took me out of the story at times. Overall Rating: 3 Language: Moderate Violence: Heavy, but most of it is “off-screen” Smoking/Drinking: None Sexual Content: None Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
MorghanVaughn More than 1 year ago
This book was a very fun read. Jules Verity is a teenager with a psychic ability that hasn't quite been cultivated yet. Her mother and her grandmother both have psychic abilities as well, which makes Jules feel very out of place when she can't harness her "Psychic Tourette's Syndrome." In a quest for teenage independence, Jules gets a job at a local Renaissance Faire of sorts, Tudor Times, and hilarity ensues. In the midst of portraying a fortune telling nun, avoiding unpleasant run-ins with her crush, and trying to not piss anyone off with her "PTS" Jules manages to uncover a dead body. Will she solve the mystery and get the guy? You should read and find out! I really liked the main characters in this book, and I also really enjoyed the setting. I am a huge Renn Faire nerd so having a mystery set there totally worked for me. I think the mystery could have been a little more fleshed out, but it is a story about teens having problems and stumbling onto murders so it makes sense that the drama of everyday life would probably take center stage. All in all, I would be curious to see other things by this author. I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.