Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cover Crush: A People's History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.
 
So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
This is such a simple cover but I just can't stop looking at it. I think it's the eye staring out at me! I think the bright red definitely makes me think of blood, especially next to the huge words "vampire" under the eye, and I love that white is used for the wording so it really stands out. I think the uncluttered cover also gives the illusion of a history book. But there again is that eye that won't look away! I don't know, I just like it!
 
Let's see what this "history" book has to teach us...
 
 
A virus that turns people into something somehow more than human quickly sweeps the world, upending society as we know it.
This panoramic thriller begins with one small mystery. The body of a young woman found in an Arizona border town, presumed to be an illegal immigrant, walks out of the town morgue. To the young CDC investigator called in to consult the local police, it's a bizarre medical mystery.

More bodies, dead of a mysterious disease that solidifies their blood, are brought to the morgue, and disappear. In a futile game of catch-up, the CDC, the FBI, and the US government must come to terms with what they're too late to stop: an epidemic of vampirism that will sweep first the United States, and then the world.

Impossibly strong, smart, poised, beautiful, and commanding, these vampires reject the term as derogatory, preferring the euphemistic "gloamings." They quickly rise to prominence in all aspects of modern society: sports, entertainment, and business. Soon people are begging to be 're-created,' willing to accept the risk of death if their bodies can't handle the transformation. The stakes change yet again when a charismatic and wealthy businessman, recently turned, decides to do what none of his kind has done before: run for political office.

This sweeping yet deeply intimate fictional oral history--told from the perspectives of several players on all sides of the titular vampire uprising--is a genre-bending, shocking, immersive and subversive debut that is as addictive as the power it describes.
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Pub. Date: October 20th, 2015

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Length: 17 hours, 58 minutes

Series: Cormoran Strike #3

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Crime Drama




Synopsis



When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them....


Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.


What Did I Think About the Story?




Career of Evil is my favorite Cormoran Strike novel yet! I feel like I can't get enough of Strike or Robin and love seeing each of their characters, as well as their relationship together, develop and grow from book to book. In this novel we really get to see further into their personal histories and how those experiences have influenced the development of their personalities. Both of them have gone through some very dark situations, situations that, in Strike's case, lead around to the case at the center of this story.

As you can read from the synopsis, there is a serial killer/body mutilator sending body parts to Robin along with taunting messages that tie back to Blue Oyster Cult lyrics. Strike's mother, an infamous rock groupie who died of a drug overdose years before, was a fan of the group and this instantly puts Strike on alert that the killer is somehow tied to his and his mother's past. As Strike searches for the various men who he sees as suspects we get to peek into his sad and torturous childhood with his mother and her rotating group of "boyfriends" who, often, treat Cormoran, his sister, and his mother horribly. For me this really solidified Strike's personality and why he's often somewhat withdrawn and impersonal with those that get too close to him. He's built a wall up around his heart and it isn't easy for him to let people in, even when he does, deep down, care for them and want to protect them.

While this is all going on we get to know Robin Ellacott better as well. We learn the shocking and devastating reason she quite college and the dark secret she's been trying to hide from Strike, scared that, if he knew, he'd fire her from the only job she's ever truly loved.  We see why she fights so hard to be strong and independent, and seen as such by those around her. We see her relationship with her fiancée take some unexpected turns, turns that kept me personally glued to the page as much as the investigation.

The narrator once again did an exceptional job of giving all these characters distinct voices, voices I'm very much going to miss as I wait for the (fingers crossed) next installment in this series. I should mention that Career of Evil, as well as the rest of the series, is filled with quite a bit of graphic imagery, situations, and profanity. While this doesn't bother me I wanted to mention it so people who do have a problem with those sorts of situations are aware.

I really do hope there are more books in this series to come out. I've listened to each audiobook this year and I'm now a little sad that I don't have another to listen to. I definitely recommend this series for those that enjoy a gritty murder mystery and ones that have characters that are both humorous and troubled in particular.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



Much like the cover of The Silkworm, it doesn't really represent this story very well. However, it does add that touch of mystery you'd expect from this sort of story, so I do like that.


My Rating: 4.5/5.0


I borrowed a copy of the audiobook version of Career of Evil from my library's Overdrive account. All opinions are mine alone. You can find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Release Day Review: Somebody's Daughter by David Bell

Pub. Date: July 10th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 432

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Family Drama


Synopsis



In the pulse-racing new suspense novel from the bestselling and acclaimed author of Bring Her Home and Since She Went Away, the life of a little girl rests in the hands of the father who never even knew she existed...


When Michael Frazier's ex-wife, Erica, shows up on his doorstep pleading for help, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Erica's nine-year-old daughter is missing--and Michael is the father. Unable to quickly determine if Erica is telling the truth, and unwilling to leave the little girl's fate to chance, Michael has no choice but to follow the elusive trail of the child he has always wanted and never knew he had.

But finding Felicity comes at a price--the closer Michael gets to the truth, the further into jeopardy his marriage falls and the faster his family begins to unravel. As lies that span a decade bubble to the surface and the window for Felicity's safe return closes, Michael will have just a few short days to decide who can be trusted and who is hiding the truth.


What Did I Think About the Story?



While I have a number of David Bell books on my shelves, Somebody's Daughter is, in fact, the first I've read. The synopsis makes it sound so mysterious - is Felicity Michael's daughter? Where is the girl? Why did her mother never tell Michael about her before she disappeared? - that I jumped in and entered the Goodreads giveaway for an advanced reader copy. Lo and behold I won! The story ended up being quite an interesting and twisty mystery, even though there were some aspects of it that kept me from loving the book overall.

The book is divided up into short chapters that alternate between the POV's of Michael, his wife, Angela, and one of the detectives on the case, Detective Griffin. I did very much enjoy the short chapters as they made for easy stopping places and always seemed to leave off with a little cliffhanger that made you want to keep reading. With this being said, while both Michael and Angela's chapters flowed well and felt essential to the storyline, I wasn't as captivated by Griffin's chapters. She has her own current issues that, while they make her sympathetic to what the characters are experiencing, felt, to me, like extra storyline that could have been left out of what I felt was an already too long book. So much extraneous detail and so many characters were involved that I just kept thinking that this would have been more thrilling to me if it was edited down a bit.

I don't want it to sound like I didn't enjoy the story at all, because I really did. There were a lot of delicious twists along our way to discovering where Felicity was, who had taken her, and whether or not Michael was actually her father. I, for one, was completely surprised when the characters found Felicity and discovered not only who took her but why she was taken. I always love when a book can surprise me and this one definitely did! I also really liked that the story was nicely wrapped up in the end, with all the answers I had remaining answered and a nice little hint at what the characters could look forward to in the future.

Somebody's Daughter, while not a page-turning thrill-fest for me, was a well thought out, twisting mystery that I enjoyed getting to the eventual bottom of.  I liked the ending and, by the last page, enjoyed my overall time spent with the characters. I'm still very much looking forward to my other David Bell books and am curious to see how they stack up to this one. 


What Did I Think About the Cover?



I think it's very cool. I'm not positive who the woman is, but I love how we're seeing her through a sort of kaleidoscope, giving you a sinister sort of feeling of confusion and mystery. It's a great cover for a story such as this!


My Rating: 3.0/5.0


I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Somebody's Daughter from Goodreads and Berkley Books. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.
 
 
  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cover Crush: All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.
 
 
So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
It's really hard to decide where to begin describing what I love about this cover, but I'll try! The colors are so lovely and bold that, even with all that is going on, everything feels very distinct and defined. I love the detailed, swirling vines, leaves, and curlicues around the outside, drawing the eye within it to that unwinding scroll, castle, and intriguing red profile in the center. We've even got the glass slipper and hourglass to complete the visual representation of the story within. It's just perfect!!
 
 Why don't we read the synopsis to find out more about what we have to look forward to reading...
 
 
In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s “evil” stepmother.

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of “happily ever after.”
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 
 

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Tip of My Wish List: It's Pre-Order Madness!

If you're anything like me you've got a book wish list so long there is no way you will ever be able to read through it all. And, on top of that, it's never ending because you just can't stop adding more books to it! To try and organize myself I'm sharing 5 books from my wish list that I'm most excited to get to, usually with a common theme, on the last Friday of each month. I know a number of excellent bloggers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new books to your own wish list. I'll also link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sound like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.
 
I very rarely pre-order books as I never seem to find the time to read the books right when they come out. However I recently noticed that I had in fact pre-ordered a number of books from some of my favorite authors, and thus a wish list post was born! I am so excited for these books to come in and am counting down the days for all of them!
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
 
Why did you do that to me Mummy, don’t you love me?


Kath lives with her husband Adam and daughter Lyla in a desolate stone longhouse deep in Dartmoor National Park. She likes her life the moors are beautiful, if bleak and she counts herself as happy, even if they struggle with money, and work, and her daughter's shyness.

But one day Kath wakes up from a coma, with a vague memory of a near-fatal car accident. She hugs her daughter close, likewise her husband Adam. But there’s something wrong. Adam seems furious with her and Lyla is acting evermore strangely. They should be delighted to see her alive, snatched from certain death. But they won't meet her gaze

Then Kath learns that the car crash wasn't an accident, and her whole life collapses into a world of panic, and danger.



Watching You


Gripping psychological suspense from the number one bestselling author of Then She Was Gone, as what begins as an innocent crush develops into a dangerous infatuation.


You’re back home after four years working abroad with a brand new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re living with your big brother, camped out in his spare bedroom.

And then – quite unexpectedly – you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher of the local high school. He’s twice your age. And he’s devastatingly attractive.
Soon you find you’re watching him. All the time.

But what you don’t know is that someone is watching you.

Or that what has started as an innocent crush is quickly turning into an obsession as dark as it is deadly.


Family secrets, illicit passion and an unexplained murder lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s gripping new novel. 




The Clockmaker's Daughter


A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House—the story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860's until the present day.


My real name, no one remembers.
The truth about that summer, no one else knows.


In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?


Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.



Daughters of the Lake


The ghosts of the past come calling in a spellbinding heart-stopper from the “Queen of the Northern Gothic.”


After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.

As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.


A Spark of Light


The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.


Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list(updated as they become available):


Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede
 


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cover Crush (Summertime Edition): Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

For the month of June I've decided to gear my Cover Crushes towards all things Summer. I just can't think of much else right now and each of the covers I'll share this month will make you long to dip your toes in the water as much as I do!

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
Can't you just feel the wind whipping through your hair?? This is such a pretty picture, with the lovely-dressed woman on her pink bike with her basket full of brightly-colored flowers! And that blue sky...not a cloud to taint the day. This looks like my ideal vacation spot and I very much wish I could just climb right in!
 
Let's see what summer secrets this story is hiding....
 
 
The queen of beach books (The Star-Ledger) returns to the shores of Nantucket in a novel about one memorable summer when flirtations flourish, family dramas play out, and scandalous secrets surface.

Memorial Day weekend means that seasonal visitors have descended on the glamorous island of Nantucket. For year-round resident Darcy Cotterill, it means late-night stargazing in the backyard of the beautiful house she grew up in and inherited from her beloved grandmother. It s also Darcy s chance to hit the beach and meet her new summertime neighbors. But the last person the thirty-year-old librarian expects to see staying next door is her ex-husband, Boyz, along with his wife, Autumn, and stepdaughter, Willow.

Darcy must also navigate the highs and lows of a new romantic relationship with local carpenter Nash Forester even as she becomes smitten with handsome vacationer Clive Rush, a musicologist in town to write a book and visit family. And she finds herself pulled into the concerns of Boyz, Autumn, a charming elderly neighbor, and an at-risk teen.

As the season nears its end, Darcy must decide her next move: retreating to the comforts of her steady and secure island life, or risking it all for a chance at true happiness. 


Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cover Crush (Summertime Edition): The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

For the month of June I've decided to gear my Cover Crushes towards all things Summer. I just can't think of much else right now and each of the covers I'll share this month will make you long to dip your toes in the water as much as I do!

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
There isn't anything that I DON'T love about this cover! The view from that porch is obviously breathtaking and I can so picture myself sitting right there with a book and a glass of wine. I love the pop of color in the pin shirt/scarf (not sure what it is) and the overlapping palm tree in the corner. This cover just screams "Florida Beach Vacation!" and I'm all for it!
 
You might ask "What's going on at Mermaid Point", so.... 
 
 
Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once. . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom. . . .
 

Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Pub. Date: May 1st, 2018
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 336

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Mystery / Thriller


Synopsis



Vanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books of the summer. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Scandal's Kerry Washington.


An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.


They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.  


What Did I Think About the Story?



I started reading The Perfect Mother with reserved expectations. Whenever a book is touted as the "next big thing" (for god's sake it's already being made into a movie and it just came out!), I'm wary of getting too excited in case I end up feeling let down. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this story quite a bit, even if I didn't find the mystery of who took the baby that hard to figure out.

The story shifts back and forth between various "May Mothers", sometimes even within the same chapter. While I know this can sometimes be confusing or annoying, I actually didn't find that it hurt the narrative or flow at all, but actually gave a nice variety of perspectives on the same situations that were happening. As the story unfolds and the mothers get themselves further and further involved in the investigation into what happened to baby Midas their own secrets begin to be exposed and their lives are thrown into disarray during the ensuing media storm. As these secrets keep being revealed the reader can't help but wonder what else they might be hiding.

The best part of the story, in my opinion, was actually learning the backstories of each of the May Mothers as well as the various ways they are dealing with the ups and downs of pregnancy and motherhood - even when they don't fully admit these problems to each other. Collectively the mothers are dealing with issues as far ranging as infertility, surprise pregnancies, colic, breast feeding difficulties and shame, sleepless nights, not wanting sex, wanting a life of one's own, not wanting to go back to work or, on the flipside, wanting to go back to work and feeling guilty about it, and so much more. They are each, in their own way, trying to balance all of the aspects of life, marriage, and kids and feeling like they are failing miserably, as every single person who has gone through it does at one time or another. This made the story, and it's characters, feel very relatable and kept me turning the pages to see what else they'd face along their journey. On top of all this, the media throws the mothers into the spotlight, highlighting and vilifying all of those things that made them feel like bad mothers, including just going out for drinks and trying to unwind without the demands and expectation of husbands and children. It's a fascinating dynamic that so many people will be able to relate to, at least on some level.

The mystery aspect I didn't find quite as intriguing. I have to be honest that I figured out who had taken Midas long before it was revealed, although I will admit that I could not have guessed at the why's or how's. It wasn't that it was a particularly bad reveal - it actually firmed up some of the other aspects of the story that I loved - I just, for whatever reason, honed in on the clues dropped throughout the story and saw it coming a mile away. Now, for those that don't figure it out, it will be a pretty interesting discovery. However, I have a feeling I won't be alone in figuring it out pretty early on.

The Perfect Mother is, in fact, a pretty perfect story for any mother to read. It will not only be quite relatable to anyone who's doubted their abilities at one time or another, but it will also hit that core fear we all have when our children are small and helpless: what if I fail to keep my child safe? It's a quick, enjoyable read and I can see why it's getting so much buzz this summer.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



I think it's quite beautiful, even with all of it's chaos. It took me the longest time to realize that it was a bouquet of flowers that had been absolutely destroyed. This fits the story well as these mothers, with seemingly perfect lives, are thrown into such turmoil and upheaval by the kidnapping of one of their babies. I really like it!


My Rating: 4.0/5.0


I purchased a copy of The Perfect Mother for my own library. All opinions are mine alone. You can find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.
 
 


Friday, June 15, 2018

Discovering reader preferences, habits and attitudes – Announcing the 2018 Reader Survey ~ by M.K. Tod, Heather Burch and Patricia Sands

 


Readers and writers – a symbiotic relationship. Ideas spark writers to create stories and build worlds and characters for readers’ consumption. Readers add imagination and thought to interpret those stories, deriving meaning and enjoyment in the process. A story is incomplete without both reader and writer.

What then do readers want? What constitutes a compelling story? How do men and women differ in their preferences? Where do readers find recommendations? How do readers share their book experiences?


ANNOUNCING A 2018 READER SURVEY designed to solicit input on these topics and others.

Please take the survey and share the link - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68HL6F2 -
with friends and family via email or your favourite social media. Robust participation across age groups, genders, and countries will make this year’s survey – the 4th – even more significant.

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M.K. (Mary) Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel,
Time and Regret was published by Lake Union. Fellow authors Patricia Sands and Heather Burch helped design and plan the survey. Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her blog A Writer of History.



 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cover Crush (Summertime Edition): The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.
 
For the month of June I've decided to gear my Cover Crushes towards all things Summer. I just can't think of  much else right now and each of the covers I'll share this  month will make you long to dip your toes in the water as much as I do!

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
In edition to the lovely sand and sea this cover adds a little bit of drama, with these two beach beauties gossiping close together. What could they be whispering about with such a pristine view? I'm not sure but I'd love to be on that beach with them hearing for myself!
 
What rumor could they be spreading, hmm....
 

Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something's changed, and if there's anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it's a good rumor.

And rumor has it...

...that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer's block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation--and a desperately bad decision;

...that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely than necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;

...that Grace's husband, successful island real estate developer "Fast Eddie" Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;

...that the storybook romance between Madeline's son, Brick, and Grace's daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.

As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they've worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight--but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.


Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Pub. Date: December 14th, 2017
Publisher: Arrow 
Pages: 448

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense


Synopsis



THEN

She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW

It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet. Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?


What Did I Think About the Story? 



It's now been weeks since I finished Then She Was Gone and I'm still thinking about this touching and heartbreaking mystery. It is actually somewhat hard to describe as it's this strange amalgamation of family drama, psychological suspense and thrilling mystery, a story that combines a woman's unending search for the truth of what happened to her daughter and that same woman's heartfelt mission to put her family back together again and move on from her grief.

My absolute favorite part of this story was the dynamic and very real-feeling characters. Lisa Jewell has a remarkable way of writing both the narrative and the dialogue so it feels like the reader is seeing these fully formed, real people living their lives and having conversations. They react like you would anticipate reacting - which is both good at times and bad at times - and have relatable feelings and flaws that drew me into their world as if they were people I really knew. This is great in that it glued me to the story but heartbreaking as well when I discovered some very hard to read truths about what had actually happened to some of these characters. I was upset and angry and sickened, but then calmed and left with a bittersweet appreciation for how other characters reacted to the same discoveries and how they chose to move forward from there. I'm being particularly vague as you need to read the book to experience it yourself, but I will warn you that it is quite the emotional rollercoaster and there are parts of it that might be hard for some readers to read. So "trigger warnings" for those that need it.

The other aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was how uniquely it was presented. The story is broken up into different parts, with various characters adding to the narrative and even presenting their parts to different characters. We've got Laurel in the present, bringing the reader along as she tackles a myriad of issues: trying to keep the memory of her missing daughter, Ellie, alive, while also trying to discover what happened to her; trying to piece back together her fractured relationships with her other daughter and son, her ex-husband, and her dying mother; trying to build back up that piece of herself that seemed to die when her daughter disappeared, that part of herself that allowed her to have love and give love, not only to those already in her life but to a new man. We also get to hear from Ellie, telling the reader what happens and leading them all the way through to a shocking revelation. We hear from Noelle Donnelly, a woman who once tutored Ellie and who also had a relationship with Laurel's new man, Floyd (these parts are particularly interesting as she is presenting her narrative directly to Floyd), and we even get to hear from Floyd's point of view a few times. It all comes together to show the many sides of these complicated characters as well as this complicated mystery, leaving the reader with a fully formed view of this touching and poignant story.

I absolutely loved Then She Was Gone for all of its contradictions and complications. It's both down-to-earth and incredibly complicated; it's heart-warming and heartbreaking; it's a twisty and terrifying mystery but also a family-centered story of loss and rediscovery. It's got so much to appreciate about it and I know that I've not done it justice here explaining why. It just really touched me more than I expected it to and I hope more people read and experience it. If you enjoy a multifaceted story and are not too turned off or aggrieved by severe mental illness that results in bouts of abuse then I highly recommend Then She Was Gone. I now plan on working my way through all of Lisa Jewell's novels (I've already read and really enjoyed both I Found You and The House We Grew Up In but I want to devour them all!).     


What Did I Think About the Cover?



This cover is pretty perfect given the story it represents. The fact that the cover is dark and blue makes you think of sadness and nefarious things happening, as does the shadow of a girl we can't fully see. I love it for this story!


My Rating: 5.0/5.0


I bought a copy of Then She Was Gone for my own library. All opinions are mine alone. To find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase your own copy, see Goodreads HERE.
 
 


Friday, June 8, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Pub. Date: June 19th, 2014
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length: 17 hours, 22 minutes

Series: Cormoran Strike #2

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller / Crime Drama


Synopsis



Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling.


When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...


What Did I Think About the Story? 



Book Two in the Cormoran Strike series begins with Strike flush with clients and slightly famous after solving the Lula Landry case in the Cuckoo's Calling. Robin Ellacott is still working as his secretary, enjoying her job even while getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that he won't trust her with more detective work and with her fiancée's continued snobbery about the job and jealousy of Cormoran. Into this busy madness walks Mrs. Quine, a woman without much money or standing who simply wants Strike to find her wayward husband so he can come home and take care of her and their mentally disabled daughter. But, as the facts begin to fall into place and Owen Quine's mutilated body is found in the exact same manner as he describes in his not yet published book, Strike has to follow the bizarre clues and use his excellent deduction skills to find the murderer before the wrong person goes down for the crime.

I found this case to be particularly interesting as it's a real literary whodunit, with a limited number of possible suspects but each with their own, very deep-seated reasons for wanting Quine dead. Watching Strike gather together this list of suspects and interpreting how they figured into Mr. Quine's forthcoming book (and which salacious character they each represented) kept my attention, especially as there were certain aspects of the characters that ended up being clues to what actually happened, clues that I completely overlooked! I won't say who ended up being the killer but I will say I didn't figure it out before the fast-paced and thrilling ending.

I think what I love more than the actual mystery at the heart of the story are the characters themselves. I find Cormoran to be such a complicated character: ex-military police, annoyed by the limits his disability causes (he lost one of his legs), caring - if standoffish - with those in his limited inner circle, yet always willing to put in the time needed to help the underdog and make sure that the truth, whatever it is, always comes out in the end. Seeing Robin next to him is almost comical as she's vivacious, whip-smart, and far more capable than he - or her fiancée - give her credit for. It was great watching her finally voice to Strike her need to be considered as more than just his secretary, as a partner who can put in the time and energy as well to solve their various cases. This obviously causes issues with her fiancée, and that dynamic added another interesting layer to not only her character but the overall story.

I should also mention that the audiobook version of The Silkworm is narrated by the same person as The Cuckoo's Calling (Robert Glenister) who did just as exceptional a job of bringing these characters to life and keeping me glued to my car's stereo during my commutes as he did before. He really is a great audiobook narrator and I'm excited to see he'll be doing the narration for the third book in the series - Career of Evil - as well.    

The Silkworm reaffirmed by love of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott and has me excited to see what they will get up to next, both at work and in their personal lives.  If you like good mystery with interesting and sometimes dryly comical characters, you will find much to enjoy with this series.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



It's okay. It doesn't really represent the story at all - or anything specific to this particular story - and I'm not even sure who the man on the cover is meant to be (is it Cormoran? Or Quine? Someone else?). However, it does give off a feeling of mystery and I enjoy that aspect of it.


My Rating: 4.0/5.0


I borrowed a copy of the audiobook version of The Silkworm from my library's Overdrive account. All opinions are mine alone. You can find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.  
 
 


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cover Crush (Summertime Edition): The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

For the month of June I've decided to gear my Cover Crushes towards all things Summer. I just can't think of  much else right now and each of the covers I'll share this  month will make you long to dip your toes in the water as much as I do!

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I'm pretty sure I have a tote bag (or five!) that look very similar to this one and I know for sure I've got sunglasses that I'd like to hang off the end of any of them! This cover just screams warmth and wind and sea gulls calling to you from above, doesn't it?! I love the little crab at the bottom as well. All in all a very inviting picture!
 
Let's read the synopsis to see what beach-side fun readers can expect from this read....
 
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.
 

Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cover Crush: Treeborne by Caleb Johnson

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I've got some more gorgeous flowers for you! Look at the detail on the petals and how they flow down the branch. I love how the title of the book mirrors the flow of the flowers and seems to twist around the picture, making it almost part of the organic nature of the image. The colors are also so soft and inviting! This is the kind of cover I'd want to frame and put on my wall!
 
Read on to see what the book is all about....
 

In the tradition of Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish and Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist comes a debut novel of an unusual family who have made their home at the margins of an unusual place.

Janie Treeborne lives on an orchard at the edge of Elberta, Alabama, and in time, she has become its keeper. A place where conquistadors once walked, and where the peaches they left behind now grow, Elberta has seen fierce battles, violent storms, and frantic change—and when the town is once again threatened from without, Janie realizes it won’t withstand much more. So she tells the story of its people: of Hugh, her granddaddy, determined to preserve Elberta’s legacy at any cost; of his wife, Maybelle, the postmaster, whose sudden death throws the town into chaos; of her lover, Lee Malone, a black orchardist harvesting from a land where he is less than welcome; of the time when Janie kidnapped her own Hollywood-obsessed aunt and tore the wrong people apart.

As the world closes in on Elberta, Caleb Johnson’s debut novel lifts the veil and offers one last glimpse. Treeborne is a celebration and a reminder: of how the past gets mixed up in thoughts of the future; of how home is a story as much as a place.


Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 
 

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Tip of My Wish List: Summer Lovin'

If you're anything like me you've got a book wish list so long there is no way you will ever be able to read through it all. And, on top of that, it's never ending because you just can't stop adding more books to it! To try and organize myself I'm sharing 5 books from my wish list that I'm most excited to get to, usually with a common theme, on the last Friday of each month. I know a number of excellent bloggers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new books to your own wish list. I'll also link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sound like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.
 
Now that May is almost over and I live in Florida I'm really feeling like it's officially Summer Season for me. Whenever it starts getting hot like this my mind starts wandering to "beach reads" - whether that means a page-turning thriller, fun chick lit, or a book with actual beach feels - and so I've decided to share 5 "beach reads" I'm now wanting to grab up and take to the shore this month. Does anyone else have these on their summer reading lists?
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
 
One woman is about to discover everything she believes-knows-to be true about her life...isn't.


After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she's known and loved for years-the man she recently married-is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven't even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail-right down to the dress she wore to their wedding-is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy's mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.

Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy's memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust-a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.

When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she's been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.



The Stranger


In the hushed hours of the night a woman is taken by the sea.


Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?



The Baby Plan


In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creator Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went...


Meet the mothers…

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…

Lyndi Kneller: Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned...



Something in the Water


A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.


If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.



 A Noise Downstairs


The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbye returns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.


College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s "normal" existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

 Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list(updated as they become available):



Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede