Thursday, October 19, 2017

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben


Summary:

     Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for. 

     When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.



 

My Thoughts:

     If you know me at all you are probably wondering “why is she even reviewing this? She loves Harlan Coben so this will be at the lowest 4 stars.”   Because I want to, that’s why!  J  It has been awhile since I went straight on back to my wheelhouse of reading mysteries and thrillers that I can just get lost in and I needed the comfort of one of my favorites.  Mr. Coben has never disappointed me, ever. 
     This is a standalone novel which I personally wouldn’t mind seeing as the start of a series.  Napoleon Dumas is a great character and will go down, second only to Myron Bolitar, as one of my favorite Coben characters.  He is smart, funny, flawed, and as always, a totally relatable character that you love.  Nap is darker and more troubled than Myron and if you’ve read the Myron series, Nap is his own Win. 
     What I love about this story is that I had no idea what was going to happen and every chapter had a new theory popping into my mind.  I was along for the ride with Nap and the realization hit me at the same time it did him…I felt his shock.  I also enjoyed the fact that this story was based around true events that happened in Harlan Coben’s hometown. This gave the story even more depth and excitement. 
     If you are looking for a page-turning mystery with just enough laughs to lighten the tension occasionally, look no further than this…or any HC novel for that matter.  5/5


Author’s site: http://www.harlancoben.com/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak



Summary:


     It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

     For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

     As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

     In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

 

My Thoughts:


     Well guys, I’ve done it again. I have gotten sucked in by a beautiful, eye-catching cover and foregone the whole reading-the-synopsis-and-knowing-what-the-story-is-actually-about thing.  I don’t like family drama stories where there is nothing but family members fighting and hating each other and guess what Seven Days of Us is? Family Drama and nothing else.
     The problem with family dramas, for me anyway, is that the characters are never likeable and this held true with the Birches.  Andrew, the dad, is in the midst of a big old pity party and is sulky and rude. Emma, the mother, whom I feel I should like is clingy and hopelessly lost in the past. Then there are the daughters.  Olivia isn’t too terrible but she is very preachy and looks down on everyone who doesn’t sacrifice their lives for third world countries. And Phoebe? Oy, Phoebe is the worst! This is supposed to be a 29-year-old woman? She acts like an immature, selfish and irresponsible 15-year-old. Ugh.

     The only character that I had any good feelings towards is a surprise plot twist characters that I cannot even mention here as I never want to post spoilers.  I REALLY wanted to give up on this book about sixty percent into it but battled through just for this one character’s storyline…that’s it, that is all that kept even a tiny bit of my attention. I feel that only one or two of the characters really grew or changed but even they didn’t change into likeable people.  Usually the reading for the beautiful cover thing works out okay for me but not this time.  1/5 stars

Thursday, October 12, 2017

House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick




 

Summary:


London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.


My Thoughts:


     House of Shadows is a hard book to pin down to just a single genre. There is history, suspense, murder, romance and so much more.  I have only started reading historical fiction the last few years so I am no expert, but this is a really good multilayer story involving three strong women from three different time periods.
     Of the three women I think that I liked Holly the best but Lavinia is a close second.  Elizabeth is a good character but she seemed very selfish and shallow to me.  Holly and Lavinia were characters that I could root for and I was very intrigued by their stories and very curious as to where the story would take them. All three women are embroiled in controversy involving a secret society, a bejeweled mirror, a giant pearl with rumored magical powers, and love that seems destined to fail.
     There were times in all the periods that some inconsistencies popped up but never really over anything major.  Mostly it was small things that didn't really make sense or seemed out of place but I am not too nit-picky about small things so I was fine with it.  I think if you are looking for a good historical fiction book to curl up with this winter in front of the fire, House of Shadows would be an excellent choice.  3.5/5 stars


Author's site: https://www.nicolacornick.co.uk/





 

Friday, October 6, 2017

SURPRISE Cover Reveal from Carly Phillips!


Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

From Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a powerful new story of love, hope and redemption, of finding light in the darkest places.

fearless_full.jpg

Fearless, an all- new emotional standalone by Carly Phillips is coming March 20, 2018!

My life is a facade
The color and beauty I cast on the canvas, a shield to protect what is hurt and broken inside.
And then I meet him.
He makes me want to put the hurt and the past behind me and trust in him.
He makes me burn in a way no man has ever done.
He makes me want to try.
If only I can be . . . fearless.
PREORDER-2_preview.jpg

Preorder Today!

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2yrtIaL



Meet Carly Phillips:

6 - 1P0A8410_1Connect with Carly:

Sign up for Carly’s Newsletter at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/ Sign up for Blog and Website updates at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s Friend Carly on Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlyphillipsfanpage Hang out at Carly’s Corner! (Hot guys & giveaways!) http://smarturl.it/CarlysCornerFB Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Bourbon Series by Meghan Quinn has a new look-check it out!


The Bourbon Series by Meghan Quinn has a new look! The books have hot new covers and have been re-edited to keep your pages burning...I mean turning! If you like heat, don't miss this series!

***$.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY***
Purchase here:
BOURBON SINS http://amzn.to/2ykrZnD
BOURBON DECEIT http://amzn.to/2fNJCod
BOURBON KINGDOM http://amzn.to/2yTUaGY
BOURBON TRUTHS http://amzn.to/2xTSYFr


On the streets of New Orleans, sins are committed every night.

My name is Jett Colby and I save tarnished souls.

In the downtown, under the glittery lights of Bourbon Street, I found her in cheap lingerie, flaunting her body for callous men and money.

From the lace of her cheap lingerie, to her garter belt, I knew she had to be saved.
She had to be mine.

Broke and destitute with no way of out, she had no choice but to come to me and into my club.

She had no other choice but to become a Jett Girl.

But see, that’s the thing about this city; you might think that under the dazzling lights and illusion of salvation, she’s the one that needed saving.

When the glitter fades and the dirt is washed away, the one worth saving just might be me.

*Formerly known as Becoming a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2foiqfA

My Thoughts:

     I had yet to read MQ's first series so I was excited when WordSmith Publicity offered me the opportunity to help them spread the word about the revamp and to review book one! Meghan does not disappoint.
     Goldie had her life torn apart when Hurricane Katrina destroyed NOLA and now she is wearing skimpy clothes and serving drinks to skeezy men in an even skeezier strip club.  I cannot say that Goldie is very relate-able character for me but she is funny and you will root for her throughout the entire story.  
     There are funny and touching moments throughout the entire book and while it is not perfect there is a good story in the midst of all of the sexiness.  As per her usual, Meghan Quinn gives you giggles, sexiness and makes you tear-up a bit which always makes for a great romance! 3.5/5
     



The walls of my club hold many secrets. Depravity. Sin. Justice.

Come in; debauchery can be yours for the cost of a lap dance and a night of pleasure. 

And I own every last part of it.

But she’s my weakness, and thankfully she followed me through the insolvent streets of New Orleans, giving me her loyalty and her heart. 

My desire for her dominates my every thought, but my broken past could destroy us. 

There are people trying to bring me down. 

Two malicious men stand in the way of what I want: to own it all. 

It’s either Lot 17 or Goldie, my Jett Girl. 

I have to make a choice and for once, it won’t be easy.

*Formerly known as Being a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2xhO31t


Under the neon lights of Bourbon, money is everything. 

Justice, faith, and power. They’re the key to my empire and she holds them all in the palm of her hand. Falling for her was a mistake; she stole my heart and consumed me. I was addicted, and she left me weak and vulnerable to my enemies.

They’re everywhere. 

Now she’s gone, turning to my enemy’s business partner; the man I’ve hated my entire life. She said she’s protecting me. She said it won’t be forever.

But how can I believe her? 

Lies, deceit and deception. They’re the sins driving us apart. 

In a city that never sleeps—in a place where scandal hides behind every dark corner, my Jett girl might never be mine again.

*Formerly known as Forever a Jett Girl. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2wLsFgL


Every choice you make in life comes with a consequence.

I was once on top, I was the professional boxer to be afraid of. I had everything I could possibly hope for. I was happy, satisfied, content . . . until one night.

One off day.

One wrong reaction.

I killed a man. The sound, the blood, the stagnant air, it’s forever imprinted in my mind and now dictates the way I live my life.

Desolate with nothing but my penance to pay, I didn’t expect to have my world flipped upside down when Lyla seductively strutted into my life.

I want her. I need her. I crave her.

But I don’t deserve her.

People like to celebrate the day they were born, I like to celebrate the day my soul died.

This is my story of repentance.

*Formerly known as Repentance. Add it to your TBR--> http://bit.ly/2xtvpTx


About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if "It's Raining Men" starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing... enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!


Find me on Goodreads:

Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Monday, October 2, 2017

September Reads



     Ah, September, I am so glad you are over! Ugh, what a month.  I was too busy so now I am exhausted, grumpy, overstimulated and under read. BOO! 

 

Here's the pathetically short list:




Brewing Up Murder by Neila Young:  A good start to a new cozy mystery series.  All the info here.
 


Outlander by Diana Galbaldon: This is the second read of this one for me. My plan was to read the first three before season three of the show started...didn't happen.  Oh well, I still want to reread all of them before I delve into #8 which I have been saving until we got closer to the release of #9...I'll maybe get that done by 2019.







White Bars by David Dagley:  A little too metaphorical for me.  See all my thoughts here.













 

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall: Interesting family drama but unlikable characters.  Full review here.
















At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider:  The family addition of Eat, Pray, Love. All the details here.













 

The Woods by Christopher Viceconte:  A coming of age story that was good but the way it ending bugged me.  Full review is over here.











Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson:  My reading challenge book for September that was good but not as amazing as The Almost Sisters.  All my thoughts here.












 
 
 

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner:  This was my book club pick for the month and I started it...it was good but a little depressing so I set it down and haven't picked it back up yet.  I will finish it, I just don't know when. 











Sneak peek at October:


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson


Summary:

     For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist) Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption. 
 

My Thoughts:


  Gods in Alabama was the book I picked for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge for this month.  The challenge was to read a book from the backlist of new favorite author and having recently discovered Joshilyn Jackson I decided to go with another one of her books.  I read The Almost Sisters in August and loved it so I felt in the mood for more southern fiction.
     GIA gave me feels that were very Fried Green Tomatoes.  Very Southern, at times relatable and definitely quirky-funny, but it is also dark and full of sinister secrets.  I liked Arlene and most of the characters for that matter, but everyone is messed up.  I don’t just mean your everyday messed up but semi-normal, I mean girl has got some issues!  You know she’s hiding a secret from everyone and you will take guesses throughout most of the book but you will more than likely be wrong. 
  This book is full of twists, which I don’t mind, but I was occasionally confused and had to re-read a paragraph or two just to resituate myself.  There were times I felt like there were too many issues being bandied about to deal with all at once but overall this was still a really good fictional novel.  If you enjoy a bit of southern quirkiness with a side of dark secrets, Gods in Alabama is for you. 4/5 stars
 

Favorite quotes:


“You’re plenty pretty enough to be my trophy bitch.”-Burr

“Hail to thee, Alabama, thou Verdant Trollop!”-Burr

What can I say? Burr amused me!
 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Woods by Christopher Viceconte


Summary:


David Barnes returns home from boarding school, only to find that the life he left behind is completely different. Lost in a town he no longer knows, David falls into a downward spiral until awakened by a reality he never anticipated.
The first novel by Christopher F. Viceconte, The Woods is a contemporary coming-of-age story about struggling to find one’s place in the world.
 



My Thoughts:

     David's father, James, doesn't quite know what to do with his son after his grades start falling but once he gets in trouble with the law something must be done.  He decides that, as a last resort, he will send him off to a wilderness retreat to see if nature, survival skills, and therapy will help.  The problem is the organization running the camp is really only looking for money and not really interested in bettering anyone's child.
     I will admit that this story at first was a little choppy and slow for me but once David is sent away things picked up a bit.  I feel that a little less time spent on the details of David's fall from grace and a little more time on getting to know him and his growth during his camp experience would have improved the flow and my enjoyment a bit.
     I think that David is a fairly relate-able character as we have all been confused teens at some point even if we didn't all become drug dealers! By the end of the story we have seen some growth and changes in David but the ending just...well, stopped.  I don't know if there is going to be another book or not but the ending felt cut short and I would have liked more.  Overall, a pretty good coming of age story. 3/5 stars

Thursday, September 21, 2017

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider


Summary:


     In her late thirties and as a mom to three kids under age ten, Tsh Oxenreider and her husband decided to spend a rather ordinary nine months in an extraordinary way: traveling the corners of the earth to see, together, the places they’ve always wanted to explore. This book chronicles their global journey from China to Thailand to Australia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, France, Croatia, and beyond, as they fill their days with train schedules, world-schooling the kids, and working from anywhere. Told with wit and candor, Oxenreider invites us on a worldwide adventure without the cost of a ticket; to discover people, places, and stories worth knowing about; to find peace in the places we call home; and to learn that, as the Thai say, in the end, we are all “same same but different.”
 

My Thoughts:


     Earlier in the summer I took Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “What’s your reading personality?” quiz (http://modernmrsdarcy.com/quiz). Turns out I am an Explorer-whodathunkit? I thought for sure I would be an Escapist so I was pleasantly surprised.  Early this year read All Over the Place by Geraldine DeRuiter (link) and loved it so it looks like Anne Bogel was right again! From the list of recommendations for Explorers, I had read two of the five books. Of the three I hadn’t read, At Home was the one that intrigued me the most.
      I am a totally homebody but have always wanted to travel. I have a list of places I want to go and things I want to see, mostly in the UK because I am an Anglophile. Unfortunately, I have never left the United States, I have no passport, and I have only been on airplane once. There is nothing wrong with this but I do hope to one day remedy all of those things! Tsh takes her family of five on a nine month trip around the world and many people thought she was crazy to do this with small children.  It is a daunting and scary thought but I cannot imagine how amazing the education it would be for kids and adults alike.
         At Home gives me Eat, Pray, Love vibes (another loved book-how did I not realize?) in that it is a See the World journey but also a bit of a find yourself/Spiritual journey for Tsh and I think we all need this. Finding home and finding our place in the world are, to me, the same thing and I love how Tsh found that balance between experiencing everything the world has to offer but still knowing she must have a place to lay her head.  There are many funny moments that made me chuckle but there were also a lot of thoughtful and even teary-eyed moments that I completely related to as a wife, mother, and woman.  I highly recommend you take the MMD reading personality quiz and if you’re an Explorer like me start with At Home in the World and if you are not and Explorer? I say read it anyway, it is that good! 4/5 stars

 

Favorite Quotes:

"I wasn't looking for him, but when you find that special someone swimming with Albanian teenage boys in a lake potentially swirling with all strains of hepatitis and you're still attracted to him, you don't walk away."
"Hard doesn't mean wrong. You're on the right path."
"Never put things down your gullet that could slash it in final vengeance on the way down..."
 
 

Author’s sites:

 

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall


Summary:

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable?

     George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt?



My Thoughts:

     First off, let me start by saying that I thought this was going to be a suspense-type book and it is not.  I think this through me off a little but that is my bad for not reading the full description but I don't think that it affected my overall feelings for this story.
     How would you feel if one of the people you knew, trusted and looked up to the most was accused of something horrible? How would you react?  It is easy to answer that from this side of things but how would that answer differ if you were actually in that moment? Out of love and your knowledge you would stand by that person and fight for them but how would you feel?
      This story delves into the Woodbury family and how they deal with the accusations and arrest of their beloved husband and father.  It also deals with how they are treated as the family of the accused and how our society reacts to such crimes and those they deem as the ones who "should have known".  It is a rather dark and deep look into how families of accused criminals are mistreated and shunned by those around them.
     I think that Ms. Whittall does a great job of looking at things from the families perspective but I feel that we never really got a chance to get to know any of them very well as there was a lot of jumping around in perspective.  I also never really liked any of the characters so I had a hard time "rooting" for any of them.  Don't get me wrong, I had plenty of sympathy for them but they all came off very self-involved and were never truly there for each or seemed to have a great relationship to begin with.  I wanted to enjoy this and see them all grow and learn from these experiences but none of them really seemed to change at all-disappointing.  2/5 stars

Author's site: http://zoewhittall.com/
    


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ugh, September...


Life lately:

     See that picture up there? That should have been me over the last two weekends as both were three day weekends for me. But alas, there was no time. 
      I was doing good staying ahead on my reading but then September hit.  Oy, this month is one of the busiest months of the year for our family! Added on top of the usual craziness we also had our last MLB game of the year (Go Royals!) and a college visit with the daughter that we decided to turn into an overnight trip.  This was to squeeze in some touristy stuff and avoid six hours of drive time in one day and well...I'm behind...again.  
     So short story long, no reviews this week.  I am writing this to help alleviate some of my guilt but I doubt it works.  I am going to try to be back in the swing of things next week but I can't guarantee anything as this weekend is another busy one.  I promise to try and that's something, right?

     Hope everyone is having a good month so far full of great reads? If you have anything that you've read lately that is amazing, please comment below!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

White Bars by David Dagley


Summary:

     White Bars is the comical tale of two myna birds trapped in neighboring cages in a pet shop, and their plot to escape. Soren, a young myna plucked from his nest as an egg, has never known what it means to be free. But Fife, an older, worldly bird does, and he longs to fly home to the tropical forests across the Pacific Ocean. Every evening after the pet shop closes, the store becomes a stock market where the caged animals trade what they have for what they want: seed, sand, plants and bugs. Will Soren and Fife be able to barter for their freedom? Or will their wings stay clipped?


My Thoughts:

     This is a rather short story (barely over 100 pages) about friendship and freedoms.  White Bars is a very heavily metaphorical story told through lives of two myna birds trapped in cages in a pet store.  One has been there his entire life and the other was newly caged in order to help the other escape and taste freedom for the first time.     
     This was meant to be a heartwarming and funny tale to make you think about life and independence.  My issue is that from the start you are just thrown right into the action and never really given the chance to make a connection to the main characters.  The only character I had any feeling toward was Juliet, a recently widowed love bird, and even that aspect of the story was minor and short.  
     I am not much for deeply metaphorical stories but I feel that if a few more pages would have made a big difference in this tale.  White Bars is an interesting take on social issues but fell flat for me because there was no chance to get to know any of the characters. 
Interesting idea and concept but just wasn't for me: 2/5 stars


 About the author: 

David Dagley has been working in the Bering Sea for the last 10 years and traveling through South East Asia in his off time. He resides in Seward, Alaska. He is currently working on his next book, Cale Dixon and the Women of Cho, a sequel project to Cale Dixon and the Moguk Murders, which was recently released in paperback by Strategic Book Publishing. 

Author's site: http://www.davidcdagley.com/

Monday, September 4, 2017

Brewing Up Murder by Neila Young

Summary:


As the owner of Mystery Cup CafĂ© in Wilton, Missouri, a town made famous by a string of long-ago murders, Blake Harper is used to the mysterious. When her barista is found strangled in a mound of coffee beans, Blake vows to find the killer, even though her sister, the town’s lead police detective, tells her to stay out of it.

Blake finds plenty of suspects, like the owners of a rival coffee shop and the handsome new bookstore owner. But when new threats are made, she soon realizes the danger is centered around Mystery Cup and someone is targeting her personally.

Will Blake be able to solve the murder, find a new barista, and perfect her recipe for espresso brownies before she becomes the next victim?



My Thoughts:

     I use to be an avid Cozy Mystery reader several years ago but got burnt out when it seemed like every other book was identical.  I was intrigued when Brewing Up Murder was offered to me for an honest review because...coffee! When the book showed up in my mailbox and I saw that the author was local to me? YAY! I have always wanted to find local authors to read and support.  It was also fun to read about places that I have actually been!
     Blake and family were fun and a joy to read about and get to know.  I love the setting of the little town of Wilton, Missouri, that is only famous because it was the backdrop to a serial killer's rampage over fifty years ago.  The coffee shop, Mystery Cup, sounds like a great place to go to and the locals were funny, nosy and realistically written as anyone who lives in a small town can attest to!
     I did not figure out "who dunnit" ahead of time (always a bonus) and Ms. Young did a good job of throwing suspicion out everywhere so you were never sure who to trust. 
      I have a small list of complaints and really two are a bit nit-picky:
1) Even in a small town, I don't think that Blake's sister would be allowed to question her in a murder investigation.
2) It seemed like every character had dead parents!? A bit depressing and worrisome!
3) I am looking forward to more in this series as long as the plotline involving the love life of Blake is not drawn out painfully in several books.  This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine stemming from an old cozy series I used to read.

     If you are looking for a new cozy mystery series to read I think this new series show great promise: 4/5 stars


Author's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NeilaYoungAuthor/

Thursday, August 31, 2017

My August Reads



http://www.sarahforgrave.com/category/author-interviews/source

     August, where did you go???? Holy Moses, I cannot believe September is right around the corner! I love Fall and I am excited about it but it just seems unreal that it is here already! Wow, that was a lot of exclamation points! :)
     Looks like I read eight books in August and that I really great for me.  What made it even better was that I finally slowed down on ARCs and was able to read a few books from my massive To Be Read Pile. Woo Hoo!  There is a massive book sale coming up in September and I am trying to decide if I should even go as I definitely don't need more books. What do you think?

 

Here's what I read in August:


The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson: Another hit from the MMD Book Club that I probably never would have picked up on my own. See my full review here.





Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn: A great, sexy and hilarious story of opposites attract. All the info is here.






The Other Girl by Erica Spindler: Rather predicable and at times, unbelievable police procedural/thriller. All my thoughts are here.





The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Angel Linconh: This was my book about books pick for my July (oops!) reading challenge and I had heard a lot of great things about it but...it was just okay for me. 3/5 stars




The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn: A historical fiction novel involving Jane Austen AND time travel? I'm in!  All the info over here.






All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco: A little overly detailed but all-in-all a pretty good cozy. See my full review here.







Dark Matter by Blake Crouch: A very fast paced thriller with a science fiction twist. Full thoughts on this one are here.





September Sneak Peek:

 
 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


Summary: 


“Are you happy with your life?” 

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. 

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. 

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.



My Thoughts:


     I keep hearing things about Dark Matter and how amazing it is so I decided to dive in!  Even if you read the above description and decide that it might not be for you, think again.  Yes, it is filled with science/physics stuff that only Sheldon Cooper can fully understand but you'll get the jist of it and you will love the way it makes you think about life.  
     Jason has always wondered how his life might have been different if he hadn't given up his promising physics career to raise a family.  He never thought he would truly get the answer to that question!  It is amazing and slightly scary to think of what might have been but this story will make you stop and truly appreciate what you have and where you are in life.  This may be seen or perceived as a love story but it is a love story about life.  
  This is a very fast paced thriller and a completely new (at least to me) concept and while the science sometimes got to be a little much it was well worth it for the amazing story of growth and learning what is important in life.  One complaint would be that you are left hanging with no resolution on one aspect of the story and I HATE that! 4/5 stars




Favorite quotes:


"That everything which has a probability of happening is happening. Everything that might have occurred in our past did occur, only in another universe."

"There's something horribly lonely about a place that's almost home."



Author's site: https://www.blakecrouch.com/